Till a couple of years ago, ‘white water rafting in Rishikesh’ seemed like the most adventurous one could get. Suddenly, there have been so many additions to the adventure destinations of India that rafting is just one of the many activities available. In fact, ‘adventure destinations’ as a tourism aspect has taken centre stage just recently. Take a look at these 5 adventure trips which you ought to do now, before the places become too commercialised and easily accessible to all and before everyone starts doing it.
1. Take a Roadtrip to Leh
No guessing here, this had to be on top of the list. 3 Idiots and Rancho made it too famous and every summer our facebook timeline gets filled with some friend or the other’s majestic and awe-stunning pictures of the unspoiled Ladakh region. Due to the remote location, limited accessibility and the costs involved, Ladakh still hasn’t become the family vacation kind of a place, thankfully. Take a roadtrip from Manali to Srinagar via Leh and Kargil or directly fly to Leh, but do it. Do it before your awesome pictures can be adulterated with loads of tourists everywhere. (Been to Taj Mahal? Well, you know exactly what I mean then!)
|Photo: Bappaditya Dasgupta/Flickr|
One of the newest additions to this list would be from India’s North-East. We have definitely heard that ‘The North-East is so beautiful and unexplored’, but what is less known is the number of adventure activities (and here I mean ‘serious’ adventure) available in the area. The Double Decker Living Roots Bridge is a UNESCO Heritage site and the only one of its kind in the world- a natural wonder in itself. Apart from this, one can opt for horizontal or vertical caving while walking through chest-deep waters or crawling between rock spaces to discover some of the deepest and oldest caves with stalactites and stalagmites- a lesson from geography and history right in front of the eyes. Not enough? Well, you can try scuba diving then! Yes, it’s all possible amidst the beauty of the place.
|Photo: Ashwin Kumar/Flickr|
3. Do a Himalayan Trek
Be it Triund (McLeodganj, Himachal Pradesh) or Nag Tibba (Uttarakhand) or one of the seasonal tougher and longer ones- the Chadar trek, Kashmir’s Great Lakes trek, Roopkund trek- there are a lot of options there and you must choose as per your endurance level. I am personally inclined to take up the Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek sometime soon. I just wonder how unfit I am. As of now, China Peak is the only trek I have done that gets classified into the Himalayan category, from a little distance.
|Photo: Rick McCharles/Flickr|
4. Water Sports at India’s Islands and a Cruise to get there
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands on the East and the Lakshadweep Islands on the West weren’t just for locating on the map in the Geography classes. The two hold some of the most scenic and beautiful locations and views with ample scope of adventure activities (and photography). The clear blue water in the islands make them ideal scuba diving and snorkelling destinations with millions of corals in view at arm’s length (Beware: Touching them is a crime). Add to the adventure by not taking a flight, but instead taking a cruise ship to the islands- there are loads of them in the right season. (Chennai/Kolkata departures for Andamans and Cochin for Lakshadweep)
|Coral reefs in Andamans. Photo: Wikipedia|
5. Weekend Treks on the Western Ghats
The Western Ghats have innumerable trekking options and destinations that fall fit for a weekend trip from Mumbai or Pune. You don’t need to be very fit or need gears unlike the Himayalan treks. Literally, anybody can do these treks. No age bar (My recent trek had a 56 year old lady and she was the most excited of the lot). Try the dark forest trek to Andharban or climb up to Kalsubai, the highest point in Maharashtra. A little pre-planning can take you to Dudhsagar Falls in the Konkan region during the monsoons. These treks are little known outside the region but one can easily find innumerable travel companies and youth groups organising a trek every weekend from Mumbai to some unique location. It’s time you try them too!
Have you been on one of these trips? Let me know your experience in the comments below. Apart from a couple of treks in the Western Ghats and one to China Peak, I haven’t been on anyone of them yet, but surely all are on my to-do list. Did I miss something important? Let me know.